Gemma Arterton Cast As Gretel

In Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

It's a role that was widely rumoured to be Noomi Rapace's for the taking. But whether the Dragon Tattoo girl turned it down, or whether Paramount changed their minds, it now seems that, fresh from titan-clashing and Persian Parkour, Gemma Arterton will be playing the female half of fairytale fighters Hansel and Gretel, when Witch Hunters goes before the cameras.

Another entry in the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trend which was briefly amusing two years ago, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters will see Arterton join Jeremy Renner's Hansel, tooling up to pursue and take down crones and harpies, following their ordeal by cage and pokey stick in the original Grimm story (fifteen years ago in the film's chronology).

Despite the modish mash-up premise, this has some intriguing talent behind the camera as well as onscreen, with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay among the producers, and Tommy Wirkola directing. Wirkola previously made the snow-bound nazi-zombies epic Dead Snow, so if that film's combination of goofy scares and gore is anything to go by, Hansel and Gretel may be an entertainingly nasty ride.

It'll need to be a quick shoot, at least for Renner, who's slotting this in between Mission Impssible: Ghost Protocol and his stint as Hawkeye in Joss Whedon's The Avengers. Shooting starts in Berlin at the beginning of March.